For the past 15 months, I have been a member of Platinum Yoga studio in Singapore. It took me almost a year to decide to commit to subscribing to a yoga studio, as I was afraid that I would under-utilize my membership and not get my money of $130+/month worth. Imagine my sister only paying EU30/month for her unlimited fitness classes in Germany. I was already taking two termed classes a week at ActiveSg but I wanted to practise more, as and when I wanted and not be subjected to a fixed time slot. I briefly considered giving up my term classes but I’m too attached to my teacher, Denjz, at ActiveSg, who have taught me for three years. I develop attachment too easily, which is the cause of suffering, according to Buddhism.
I decided to take the plunge after I stopped work and signed a fifteen-month membership last March. I really enjoyed my initial time with Platinum. I attended many classes to sample the different teachers and the wide variety of classes offered, every hour from 7.30 in the morning to 9pm at night daily (except weekend when there are no night classes). There are aerial classes, which was what I had always wanted to try and the deciding factor to commit. There are also wheel classes, detox, yin, vinyasa, Ashtanga, all of which I tried. I struck off the teachers and classes which I felt did not help or that I somehow did not like, and organized my timetable around the teachers and classes which I enjoyed. I was going so often that each class cost only $5. Not only that, I became familiar with almost everybody there.
Being in Platinum was fun. The staff and students were friendly to me, a newcomer and made me feel like one of them. I comfortably settled into my routine and saw a future of a long-term membership with Platinum. There was such a great camaraderie amongst the students that I was added into the various group chats almost immediately. During classes, we took photos of each other and laughed at ourselves as we discussed how we could improve. We shared yoga knowledge, helped each other in class with poses.
The great thing about joining a studio is that the studio organizes workshops (extra payment) which focus on special workouts like inversions, or arm balancing. They also have yoga retreats which I’ve not participate. I attended a few workshops and although I can’t say I benefitted much from them, I like the opportunity to experience these special classes and poses which we rarely get to practise in normal classes.
But then the classes changed early this year and I found my favourite teachers disappearing, replaced by newer teachers, whom the other students convinced me are just as good but I was not as certain after a few trials. I’ve become attached to my usual teachers’ vocabulary and instructions and just could not adapt. My classes decreased until I find myself attending only two classes a week now, one on Monday night and another on Wednesday night. Despite my feedback to the studio, there was no change. In the meantime, I decided to try other studios but some are just too far to entice me to go, while those others nearby are also not as attractive.
My Platinum membership ends in two weeks. Soon, my Monday and Wednesday nights which I have always look forward to, the two nights which I would cancel all other appointments for, would be free and this fills me with dread. Would I lose the flexible twist I’ve been practicing every Monday in detox class with Arya, having only just managed to bind my hands in a twisted warrior two weeks ago? Would my backbends which I go through every Wednesday during Lunar Flow be lost too?
Of course, you may say, practise these yourself at home. Yet I know I need a class environment to push me further. I could never hold as long, bend as deep, or repeat a vinyasa as many times without a class environment. I just do not have the discipline.
What am I going to do, I wailed to my fellow Platinum partner, Jenney. She very calmly analysed that it’s true the membership is not worth the renewal if I only attend two classes a week. With the sharpness of a financial consultant, she went through my various memberships to different studios. To fill my week of yoga, she suggested doing two PT a week instead of one – on Monday and Thursday (in that far away studio), two termed ActiveSg classes on Tues and Saturday. Then there’s my handstand class on Friday nights which means I can’t attend any more yoga classes that day to preserve energy. Practise yourself on Wednesday and rest on Sunday, she advised further. That sounded perfect to me, until I was offered an attractive package to renew and I start to waver. I look through the weekly Platinum calendar every now and again to see what I’ll miss if I don’t renew, just in case, and it’s still only the Monday and Wednesday night classes.
I’ve become so attached to Platinum that I hate to let it go but I must for economic sake. Farewell and thanks for providing me with a wonderful yoga experience while I was there. I shall miss everyone, especially my very charismatically cool Bollywood idol teacher Arya.
What about my aerial classes? Sigh…I’ll look for a Sunday aerial class soon, I think. I can’t see myself lazing away my Sunday. Or perhaps I can.